Log: #080 Thinking Chess

Having played chess since I was 8 and beating adults since I was 9, I have observed a very curious phenomenon.

Chess has become an integral part of me and I cannot imagine myself without chess, not the game as such, but rather the way I think. I have noticed that chess players (this applies to professionals, who are usually GMs and IMs and have played the game all their lives — I don’t know if it applies to others) actually do think in a slightly different way than people who don’t play chess.

If I am pressed hard to define this difference, I would say it is a question of clarity. Chess players are able to see things more clearly. It is probably the life-long habit of: establishing the candidate moves, precise calculation of each one of them, evaluation of the final position at the end of the calculated lines and then comparison of the final positions. The candidate move with the most favourable final position is chosen. This process somehow translates to life. To me it is the most natural and logical thing to do, but I have often been perplexed when I have realised the thought processes of other people, ranging from chaotic to too narrow and everything in between.

It has nothing to do with intelligence, it’s only a way of thinking.

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